Short stories, the editing thereof, and dialogue. A brief update

short story editingSo, the writing is going gooood. Got a big chunk written towards the end, and I’m writing a stack of dialogue, so guess what?

“What’s that, D.R?”

“Well I’m glad you asked. I’m going to do a post about dialogue!”

“Oh. Now?”

“No, later this week.”

“Oh okay.”

“Is this a good example of Dialogue, D.R?” he enquired snidely.

“No. No it most definitely is not. Now, don’t make me release the squirrels.”

Where was I and what was I doing… Ah! Blog post. So I’ve also been working a lot on short stories. I will have a new one to post on here tomorrow for Chuck Wendig’s weekly writing challenge, this time about ACTION! (how appropriate, given last week’s posts), and I’ve been working a fair bit on editing and revising one that I wrote a while back, the second story here.

I even did a bit of printing out and attacking with red pen, which is great for spotting things you’re not happy with in a piece. I need to do more revision on these shorts, but it’s fun stuff.

Written any short stories lately? Do you struggle to get under the word counts?

Okay, Best regards,


About D.R.Sylvester

A Clinical Research Associate by day (google it), writer by night, D.R.Sylvester lives in Sydney, Australia with his patissiere wife and Siberian Wolf. His interests include travel, music (predominantly Metal), reading, & archery.
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12 Responses to Short stories, the editing thereof, and dialogue. A brief update

  1. Millie Ho says:

    I haven’t written any short stories lately, but I’m wondering if writing a short story for difficult scenes can help you work through writer’s block. I’ll have to try that out. Thanks for the inspiration, D.R!

  2. Yeah, I saw Chuck Wending’s flash fiction challenge about action. It’s too much for me XD Maybe I’ll try the next challenge 🙂 I’m going through a second revision of the suicide story I wrote. It will probably need a third, maybe a fourth. It helped posting it on Critique Circle because I knew it was a bit of a mess, but I didn’t know exactly what was wrong. I’ve actually been reading through many of the critiques at Critique Circle and it has given me a better idea of what works and what doesn’t.

    Anyway, I have a much clearer idea of where I’m going. I’m trying to keep it around 5,000 words. But the literary magazines I want to submit to cap at 6k or higher, so I think I’m okay. After the next revision, I’m going to send it to Friend A and ask her what should be cut. Because of the non-linear format it’s really hard to say what should be cut unless you’ve read the whole thing. I don’t think I’ll write another non-linear narrative for a long time. I loved writing it, and editing, but it’s really difficult, for me at least. I’m going to extend my other short story after this, which should be much easier. Good luck with editing yours 🙂

    • Thank you! Great to hear that the critique circle is working out for you. I’m pretty sure if you keep plugging away at it there’s the bones of a really good story in there.
      Chuck’s challenges vary a lot in intensity, and this time was a LOT harder than the last one I did. Action from start-to-finish?! No slow bits? And it still needs a proper story structure? Ouch. Took all of last night on it.
      Thanks again 🙂

  3. mpho says:

    I love these short stories…and i write dialogues storie,i want to know how do i get an editor and to publish them!

    • Thank you! As a beginner your best bet is to join a writing group or workshop. If you’re getting serious, hire a freelance editor. If you’re really, really sure that you’re ready, you can try contacting literary agents, get representation, and find an editor that way.

  4. gpeynon says:

    “Do I struggle to get under the word counts?” repeated the reader. “Always.”

    “Ah yes, but dialogue can be a great way of reducing long descriptive word counts, don’t you agree?”

    “I do indeed.”

    “So you’re looking forward to the next post then?”


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